Homemade Almond Milk: Step-By-Step Directions With Photos, And More!
As I served a glass of almond milk with my mid-afternoon snack the other day, I realized how much I would like to have a say in what goes in it and what doesn’t. I love cooking and I love trying new things, which is why I started drinking almond milk in the first place, so why not make it myself?
It sounds hard, but it is not a hard process at all. Almond milk is simple and pure, all you need is soaked almonds, some sweetener of your choice, a sprouting bag, and a blender. Seems pretty easy, right?
Why almond milk? Well, it’s not only low in fat, but high in protein, lipids, and fiber. This type of milk also has calcium, iron, and vitamins. Though it’s often implied, almond milk is the perfect alternative for those with a milk allergy, lactose intolerance, or a digestive condition.
But more on that later, now, let’s get cooking!
Homemade Almond Milk with Ginger and Turmeric
Servings: 4 / Prep time: 8 hours / Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup raw almonds, soaked and drained for 8 hours
- 3 ½ cups filtered water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ tbsp Agave syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Pinch salt
Step 1: The first and most important step of this process is soaking your almonds. An appropriate time for this type of nut is between 8-12 hours. I leave my nuts overnight with the vanilla extract as well.
We soak nuts because they are usually very hard and dry, by soaking them, we are saturating them from inside out, which results in a creamier texture.
Step 2: Once your almonds are ready to use, make sure you drain them entirely and get rid of the soaking water. Dry them carefully and rinse again. If you compare your soaked nuts with raw, unsoaked almonds, you will notice the difference in aspect, and see how they are easier to blend.
Step 3: Using a blender, I use my Vitamix, set it in the highest setting. Put your almonds and additional vanilla extract if you deem necessary. Add your 3 ½ cups water as well.
Step 4: Blend everything for about 1-2 minutes. The liquid will be milky and have foam on top.
Step 5: Get a bowl and your sprouting bag. Slowly pour the milk in the sprouting bag and strain onto the bowl. Squeeze the bottom of the bag so the liquid comes through to the bowl–this may take several minutes.
Step 6: Transfer your leftover pulp to a container and store in the refrigerator for future yummy recipes.
Step 7: Wash your blender thoroughly and then transfer the strained milk. Blend once again along with cinnamon, Agave syrup, turmeric, ginger, and salt.
I do this for taste and texture, but you can skip this last step if the milk looks good after being strained once. If you decide to skip this step, then add the additional flavor on the first blend.
Step 8: Transfer the final milk mixture to a jar or container. Store in your refrigerator. Homemade almond milk will usually last between 4-5 days, but the liquid may separate, so always shake before drinking.
Mix It Up! All You Can Add to Your Homemade Almond Milk
Now you have your milk ready, and you are probably wondering if that’s all there is to it. Well, yes, but also no. When making your own nut milk, no matter which one, you can add as many things and flavors as you want.
I usually add cinnamon to all my nut milks, but I have definitely used cacao, turmeric, cane sugar, and even oats before!
These are just some ideas you can include next time you decide to make any type of nut milk:
- Vanilla bean, or vanilla extract
- Sweet pepper
- Coconut flakes
- Dried fruit
- Raw honey
- Agave syrup
- Cane sugar
- Maple syrup
- Other nuts
- Hemp seeds
- Flax seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Coconut water
- Coconut milk
Expert Advice on Making Your Own Milk
As with everything else, and especially in the kitchen, there are many ways to make almond milk. I have learned in the past that with others’ experiences and advice, your end result will be that much better.
Here are some pro tips from bloggers I admire and that have helped me make this process easier and successful:
Emma Christensen writes How To Make Almond Milk at Home and is very good at letting us know that soaking almonds overnight, or up to 2 days, is key.
While they can stay on the counter or in the fridge, this step is essential because the almonds will plump and get rid of phytic acid, which inhibits the body’s ability to absorb the almond’s nutrients.
In this case, she writes a very hands-on and to-the-point article on making almond milk. What I particularly liked was her tip of using ¼ cup of maple syrup as a sweetener. While I tend to use agave more often, maple syrups adds a kick to the end result.
This Aussie-based online magazine has an amazing team of writers and chefs reviewing restaurants, writing recipes, advice and more.
Arabella Forge writes a very detailed yet simple step-by-step article on how to make almond milk. The author includes a step that though I usually don’t follow, is a very good tip for someone willing to do it: removing the skin off of the almonds.
If you are willing to do this, all you have to do is soak your almonds after draining them for another 5 minutes. The skin should come off easily. Forge suggests that this step removes bitterness and gives the milk a lighter color.
Who doesn’t know this world famous chef? While he needs no introduction to us foodies, it is important to note what advice he could have for making almond milk. He suggests filtering the final milk into an airtight container that will keep it safe and good for up to 4 days in the fridge.
The cooking magazine also needs no introduction, but this time they write about mistakes to be avoided when making almond milk. One of the most important ones, in my opinion, is the advice of using raw, unsalted almonds always.
Using roasted or salted nuts, according to Bon Appetit, will result in a more bitter and less-creamy milk with a weird flavor.
What Not To Do When You Make Your Own Almond Milk
I’m not going to lie, while making nut milk is easy, there are mistakes you can make that will ruin the end product. This is why, I have taken some time to point out the most common mistakes you can make, and how to avoid them. Trust me, it’s better to know beforehand and not have to repeat all your process; it’s happened to the best of us!
#1. Not Soaking Your Almonds Enough
While some will tell you that you can just soak your almonds under very hot water and add almost boiling water to the blender instead of letting your almonds soak for 8-12 hours, I think it’s not enough.
The truth of the matter is that when you soak your almonds for 8 hours or longer, they become fully saturated, which means that they are easier to blend and they leave less pulp behind.
The other key factor in soaking your almonds for longer time is that they get rid of phytic acid, which a natural inhibitor that prevents us from taking in all the nutrients in the almond.
#2. Using Too Much Water
When you using little water, it is easier to fix it, but when you use too much water, your almond milk might be ruined. If your milk is too watery, you won’t be able to taste the nut flavor, or the sweet, it’ll have a watery flavor instead.
#3. Using a Weak Blender
If you don’t have a good blender, you may want to skip this process altogether. Luckily, I have a very powerful blender, but a food processor or weak blender won’t cut it. The quality of your almond milk depends–in large part–on the potency with which the blender breaks the nuts.
#4. Not Using Sweeteners
I understand trying to be healthy and wanting to skip harmful sugars, but your almond milk absolutely needs a little flavor. Just plain almond milk tastes very bland and even a little watery. I use Agave syrup, or honey, but you can use whatever sweetener you prefer, or even dried fruits, or dates, if that’s what you like.
#5. Using Flavored Nuts
We are all tempted to buy nuts with some sort of flavor, not just unroasted, unsalted almonds, but in this case, natural nuts are the best. You will add the flavor to the milk, but if you use roasted, candied, or salted nuts, your milk will end up with a funky flavor and texture.
These are just some of the most common mishaps I have noticed when making almond milk. There may be more to watch out for, but if you can avoid these five, I’m sure your almond milk will be very good. When in doubt, just remember, four parts water to one part almonds, no flavor almonds, and good blender, these 3 tips can save you some trouble!
What Else Can I Use My Almond Milk For? Ideas to Make The Best Out of Your Homemade Almond Milk
So by now you know how to make almond milk and you know how easy it is, but imagine all you can do with your homemade almond milk. Ever since I started giving this nut milk a try, I also started looking for different recipes that I could make at home. Here are the best ones so far:
Almond Milk Chai Latte by Love & Lemons
Chai tea is my absolute favorite, and chai latte is that much better. While I love a good old regular milk chai, there is an interesting concept in switching it up for your favorite nut milk, in this case almond.
But, why not just buy chai latte powder? I find that making your own chai latte is superior, plus you can always check what goes in and what doesn’t. This easy-to-make chai though saves you a lot of time, all you need is a black tea bag, cinnamon, anise stars, and your favorite almond milk, or your own homemade milk.
Lemon Almond Bread by Two Peas and Their Pod
At first I would have never thought about using my almond milk to create such a good pastry as this lemon almond bread, but trust me, once you’ve done it, you can’t go back. For this recipe, you can save calories and the use of dairy by changing the ingredients for almond milk.
When making this bread, use almond milk to mix with the eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract. The extract is extra but gives the bread a almond-y kick that you’ll love. Add some almonds on top of the lemon glaze to complete the flavor.
White Peach Raspberry Smoothie by The Clever Carrot
Smoothies are one of the best ways to boost your metabolism in the mornings, and they’re also a good snack. I recently gave in into making them with my homemade almond milk, but this white peach raspberry smoothie is superb to anything I have done.
This amazing drink mixes yummy peaches with bananas and raspberries, and to balance all, almond milk. For this recipe, use sweetened vanilla almond milk and you’ll notice the difference, but if you feel like your fruit is lacking flavor, you can add agave syrup or stevia. Definitely a great way to use that almond milk in a healthy way.
No Bake Cookies with Almond Milk by The Casual Craftlete
I’m not one for baking, I find the process too tedious at times, but I do love baked goods, pastries, and sweets. These no bake cookies are amazing and easy, and to add it all, they include almond milk instead of dairy. Use your favorite cookie press, and things will be even easier.
All you need to make these cookies is almond milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and cooking oats. Simply combine all of these with butter on the stove, place on a baking tray, and just let them dry. These will taste great and you won’t even notice that they weren’t on the oven….Plus these cookies are easy to make with the whole family!
Dairy Free Peppermint Mocha by Tasty Yummies
For the holidays and for winter season, I love having my hot drinks. Peppermint mocha is one of these, but sometimes the milk is overwhelming and makes the drink too heavy. I found this almond milk peppermint mocha to taste equally delicious and save you the pain of the dairy.
This recipe combines the sweetness of coconut milk with almond milk to recreate that sweet and tasty flavor that a regular peppermint mocha has. Aside from these two, all you need is cocoa powder, a good cup of coffee, honey or Agave syrup, chocolate chips, and of course, peppermint extract. You’ll see the finish product is just as good–if not better–than your old peppermint mocha.
Use Your Leftover Almond Milk Pulp and Create Delicious Dishes
If you have read through the steps on how to make almond milk then you know that there is leftover pulp. Even if it seems weird, don’t throw this pulp away, use it for other recipes. I use my own pulp for cookies, smoothies, snacks, and as an addition to your morning cereal.
These are some of my favorite leftover almond milk pulp recipes:
Almond Pulp Cookies by Laura’s Sweet Spot
This recipe is not only easy but also very healthy. With peanut butter, dark chocolate chips, honey, and of course, almond milk pulp, you can make these cookies in no time and you won’t even need to bake them!
Vanilla-Almond “Sugar” Cookies by Tasty Yummies
These cookies are delicious and extremely healthy, they are not only dairy free, but also sugar free. Using medjool dates instead of honey or sugar, you can add dark chocolate, and just mix everything together with your almond milk pulp to create these cookies. In the end, simply bake them for about 20 minutes, and you’ll have a delicious alternative to sugar cookies.
Almond Pulp Crackers by Elana’s Pantry
Part of this amazing paleo, healthy-eating blog, these paleo almond pulp crackers are a great alternative to those starchy and fatty snacks we tend to eat. All you need for these crackers are 5 ingredients: almond pulp, olive oil, flaxseed, thyme, and sea salt.
The only catch, and a little one, is that you need to bake these on low heat for a long time, but trust me, the result is worth it. If you want to make them even more tasty, try maybe toasting the flaxseed and thyme before putting it in, make sure you have a good nonstick pan for this step.
Chipotle Almond Spread by Tasty Yummies
If you are craving something salty, or you have guests over to watch a game, this dip is definitely for you. I love how healthy it is while also being really yummy. When making this recipe, try to use unsweetened almond pulp, so that the sweet doesn’t overwhelm the dish.
Seems hard? Not at all! Use a food processor and mix in all ingredients until you get a chunky delicious spread/dip.
Green Bean Amandine Casserole
When you want to surprise your family, or when you want to shock your guests during Thanksgiving, then you may want to give this recipe a try. Change up the bread crumbs and almonds for your unsweetened almond pulp, and this dish will be healthier, and equally tasty. If you want to shock everyone even more, try using your copper cookware, and don’t tell them the main ingredient is almond milk, they’ll be very surprised when they find out after the meal.
Why Is Almond Milk Healthier? The Healthy Truth About Nut Milk
These recipes and ideas all seem wonderful, but you may begin to wonder why you should even use or make almond milk. The truth is, almonds and almond milk are especially healthy and beneficial for you.
What Do Experts Say About Almond Milk?
The truth of the matter is, homemade almond milk is better than store-bought one. According to R.D Keri Glassman, when you make your own almond milk, you’ll get something a 100 percent nutritious, rich in good fats, vitamins, proteins, and fiber.
Registered dietician Keri Glassman, from Nutritious Life, is the face of nutrition and health. With her blog, Glassman guides people to living a more holistic life while also staying fit and nourished. Through her site you can get recipes, advice, workout tips, all while working towards your health.
According to Dr. Mercola, on the other hand, store-bought milk is actually mostly water. If you wonder why a serving of almond milk is only 30 calories, as opposed to the 160 calories a serving of raw almonds brings, then you should know it’s because factory-made almond milk is simply a big jug of water with maybe a handful of ground almonds in it.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, is an osteopathic physician, or DO. He practices a “whole person” approach to medicine, which means all advice and products he recommends are meant to nourish our bodies.
Why Drink Almond Milk Then?
There are several reasons why you should drink almond milk. It’s just that as with anything else that is mass-made, carton almond milk won’t have the benefits that your own milk can have.
For starters, almonds are naturally high in vitamin E, but store-bought almond milk contains added vitamin D, calcium, and protein, which makes it similar to regular milk, but isn’t natural nor healthy in the long run. Homemade almond milk has less vitamin D and protein, but it has enough levels to protect your bones in the end.
It’s also important to note that homemade almond milk may be higher in calories, but these are good fats, and your body will assimilate nutrients better. The fatty acids in homemade almond milk are 90 percent unsaturated, which are good for our blood lipids and thus lead to a healthier heart.
Almonds are also more beneficial than other nuts, such as walnuts, and they have higher levels of protein, fiber, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium and phosphorus than most other nuts or seeds.
So, if you are still wondering why you should drink almond milk? Well, for one it’s a very good alternative to dairy, it’s also high in healthy fatty acids, and it’s high in nutritious content. If you want to avoid additives, make your own, it won’t take too much time, and can save you money and unhealthy repercussions.
Tired of Almond Milk? Try All These Other Nut Milks!
If you like almond milk, or if it’s not your favorite, then you may want to try other nut milks. Yes, you can also easily make them and try all the different flavors they have.
But first things first, why drink other nut milks?
Nuts are high in nutritional content and health benefits, but it’s often overlooked that they can be more than just a snack. Here are the benefits each nut can have for your health:
Less than half a cup of walnuts can give you all that you need in omega-3 fats along with copper, manganese, molybdemum, and biotin. These nuts are beneficial to vascular health because of their high level of amino acid l-arginine, which helps those with heart disease.
Walnuts may also be the highest antioxidant nut, fighting free radicals and helping our bodies get rid of toxins–the highest amount of antioxidants are found in the flaky, or waxy, outside layer of this nut. Consuming these nuts can help fight cancer cells, such as prostate, breast, and prevent tumor growth.
Walnut Milk: try making this recipe with only a few ingredients. Follow The Conscious Eater for some tips on healthy eating.
These nuts have the highest level of fat, as well as lowest protein content. However, raw macadamia nuts are high in vitamin B1, magnesium, and manganese.
Having only one serving of these nuts can give you 58 percent of all the manganese levels you need, as well as 23 percent of the thiamin level you need. About 60 percent of fatty acids in macadamia nuts are monounsaturated fat oleic acid, which are good for our bodies.
Macadamia Nut Milk: this Healthy Chef recipe is fast and easy, plus you don’t have to soak your nuts beforehand.
This nut has the same benefit as other nuts, it is high healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The best benefit of consuming these nuts is the high level of antioxidant selenium, a mineral that aids the prevention of cancer.
Brazil Nut Milk: using only 3 ingredients you can make this recipe by Elana’s Pantry.
These nuts contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals. They can also help lower LDL cholesterol levels, which promotes healthy arteries. Pecans are second to macadamia nuts in fat and protein content, and they also have high magnesium, phenolic antioxidants, and manganese.
Pecan Milk: for this recipe by The Toasted Pine Nut, you should soak your pecans for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours, but it is worth your time.
Because they are high in lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin E, they are great in increasing blood levels of antioxidants and lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Eating these nuts as a snack can help people maintain or lose weight, and they are high in monounsaturated fats.
As you can see eating nuts is good for supporting your health and keeping a good diet. Yet sometimes we don’t have time to snack properly, or we want to avoid a high number of calories.
Pistachio Milk: why not make this recipe from The Healthy Maven? Pistachio milk is very popular and tasty.
Ready for Some Almond Milk? Try Making Your Own, You Will Never Go Back
Making almond milk may seem tedious, but it is rather easy and very much worth the effort. Try making your own and let me know what you think. I used specific ingredients that I like, but you can certainly make changes and add whatever you like.
When you make almond milk you’ll also have leftover pulp that can be put into another cool and healthy recipe. Take advantage of this healthy, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan option, that despite being free of a lot of things, is delicious and wholesome.
What do you think? Comment below if you’ve made your own nut milk, and if you have your own recipe that you’d like to share. Bring on the nuts!